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Correctional Officer Salary

Correctional Officers aren't exactly in the most profitable line of business; these folks earn a belt-tightening average of $35K annually. The income range spans the entire spectrum between $25K and $57K per year. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by residence, but the specific employer and years of experience are influential factors as well. Making up 71 percent of those who took the survey, male Correctional Officers greatly outnumber their female counterparts. Job satisfaction for Correctional Officers is high. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$24,893 - $61,060
(Median)
$25K
$35K
$61K
MEDIAN: $35,158
10%
50%
90%

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$10.72 - $22.71
(Median)
$11
$15
$23
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$24,893 - $61,060  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,030  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,679 - $57,416  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,016
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$10.72 - $22.71  
   
Overtime
$14.20 - $39.65  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,030  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,679 - $57,416  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 653

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Job Description for Correctional Officer

A correctional officer works at a prison, jail, or similar institution. They are responsible for maintaining the safety and control of all persons remanded to the custody of the facility. The help ensure and enforce all procedures and regulations as required by the jurisdiction and management.

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Correctional Officer Tasks

  • Responsible for transporting or moving prisoners.
  • Receive and secure prisoners until their release.
  • Maintain security of the jail or institution.
  • Supervise prisoners and maintain security, rules, regulations and cleanliness in correctional facility.

Common Career Paths for Correctional Officer


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While Correctional Officers do not often become Registered Nurses, the job pays $55K per year on average. A Corrections Officer role is the most common promotion for Correctional Officers moving up the ladder, and pay for the position tends to be around the $36K mark. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Correctional Officers is a Security Officer position, where earnings are usually $25K.

Correctional Officer / Jailer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Correctional Officer


Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Florida Department of Corrections, and Dept. of Corrections are among the top companies that take on many Correctional Officers. Correctional Officers seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at NYSDocs, where the average salary comes to $59K. Correctional Officers can also look forward to large paychecks at Federal Bureau of Prisons ($48K), Oregon Department of Corrections ($47K), and Arizona Department of Corrections ($41K).

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Georgia Department of Corrections at $27K, and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) where $30K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Correctional Officers there earn up to $46K.


Correctional Officers seem to require a number of specific skills. Most notably, facility with Safety Compliance, Transport, and Oral / Verbal Communication are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 49 percent, 21 percent, and 8 percent, respectively. Oral / Verbal Communication and Security Policies and Procedures are correlating skills — those who know the former usually know the latter.

Pay by Experience Level for Correctional Officer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Correctional Officers do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $32K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $36K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $39K in this role. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $47K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Correctional Officer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 37%

Experienced
up arrow 13%

Mid-Career
up arrow 6%

National Average
$35,000


Skills That Affect Correctional Officer Salaries

Safety Compliance
up arrow 49%

Transport
up arrow 21%

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 8%

People Management
up arrow 2%

Security Policies and Procedures
0%

National Average
$35,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 265 votes.

Gender

Female
29 %
Male
71 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 72%
vision benefits Vision: 62% employee benefits None: 10%